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Budget-Friendly Backyard Fixes

By Alicia Murphy | June 23, 2012

Transforming your backyard space can be a lot like adding square footage: with the right fixes you can make a whole new entertaining area and completely change the feel of your home. But for homeowners working on a tight budget the big backyard rehabs seen on TV or home and garden websites might be out of reach. Fortunately there are some ways that you can make small changes to your space that make a big impact.

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Patio Furniture

No one enjoys a patio without having somewhere to sit (both their fanny and their cool drink). Concrete itself simply isn't conducive to a comfy relaxing time. Therefore patio furniture is a must for any patio that sees entertaining use.

You might find yourself thinking that buying new patio furniture is an improvement that is a tad on the expensive side, and if you spend your time only considering the stock of large home improvement stores you'd be right. Instead of instantly jumping on a new $300 set from Lowe's, check out some local yard sales or flea markets. The furniture that you find might need a little TLC, but you'd be surprised how far a couple of cans of spray paint and some new cushions can go toward creating a trendy and comfy lounging space.

Depending upon how much cover your patio has and how seasonally you use it, you could also double up on the "where" you'll have a sofa or chair and buy some SavvyHomeStore furniture that is sturdy enough for outside but can be brought in for other seasons to perk up your inside living space. If you don't want to purchase a large sofa or chair for this purpose, you can still experiment with more movable pieces such as ottomans, which can easily be moved from room to room or the patio to the living room.

Also consider re-purposing items for patio furniture, such as using an old shipping pallet to form a rustic table. By thinking outside the box you can create a one-of-a-kind piece that will both inspire and keep costs in check. Visit for more great ideas for re-purposing.


A good deal of backyard entertaining has been known to go down at night so you'll want to add some lighting options. Sure you probably have a porch light or flood lights that will provide some light, but do they provide ambiance? Outdoor lighting itself is fairly inexpensive and can add a whole new feel to your patio or deck.

Consider some Chinese lanterns or simple outdoor string lighting to bring a pop of color and sparkle to the space. Solar lighting is also a great way to showcase your garden or to serve as path lighting from one entertaining area to another.


Having some sort of covering over your patio or deck doesn't just serve as a pretty addition to the space: it also makes summer days spent outside much more bearable. Don't automatically assume you'll need to contact a handyman or contractor to help put this project together. Odds are that your local home improvement store has plenty of options for easily assembled fabric gazebos that will add both protection from the sweltering summer sun as well as a chic relaxing area.

Rehabilitating your backyard doesn't have to put your into foreclosure. With these simple and inexpensive fixes you can enjoy a whole new entertaining and relaxing space, almost as if you'd added another room to your home.

For more ideas on inexpensive backyard updating visit

Alicia Murphy is a licensed real estate agent. My freelance writing career began simultaneously with my Real Estate career in 2010.As a Realtor I’ve worked primarily with buyers in finding themtheir dream home and have experience in foreclosure sales, but I've also represented sellers in marketing and selling their homes. As we await the bolstering return of the Real Estate market I will continue to adapt to ever-changing conditions and continue to provide first-rate service to my clients.
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